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End of an Era

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images 1 May 2012 21

abandoned service station

So, the Lyneham servo finally closed it’s doors on the weekend.

The bike shop left months ago.

Soon the place will dug up and (presumably) the ground detoxed to make way for some more units … can’t be too many of these suburban servos left.

I remember the ones in Watson, Ainslie (& the mad Scot and his wife who ran it!), Oconnor.

Progress I know but I’ll miss it and it was bloody handy having a bike shop just down the road.


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TheGingerNinja TheGingerNinja 4:34 pm 10 May 12

I would speculate that it will be another unit development, although you wouldn’t get more than 2 or 3, I had figured the bike shop would be put up for lease, i may of seen a lease sign but not something i paid much attention too, although it always seemed quiet as a business. I don’t see another cafe being opened as it is close to units! I was thinking today actually what the long term effects would be as their would be traces of petrol etc in the ground?, therefore would that make the block uninhabitable for residential purposes? would people buy a property on an ex service station block?

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images 12:20 pm 02 May 12

Glad to see that suburban servos can bring forth so many memories and nostalgia for service and small business. Thanks for all the responses and posts.

@poetix – I appreciate it … you’re out there alright but I’m thinking you already have an inlking of that 😉

@Bramina – we can only hope! Another cafe for Lyneham Shops … bring it! 🙂

JC JC 7:06 am 02 May 12

buzz819 said :

JC said :

Holden Caulfield said :

I knew it was coming (actually sent some stuff into JB a few weeks back) but went past on Saturday afternoon and noticed it was closed.

Thought I’d fill up one last time last night and when I went past saw that all the pumps had been removed and the Caltex signage taken down.

When I asked a while back I was told Caltex is not renewing the lease and I expect the suggestion that the land will be developed for units and/or shops will prove to be correct.

That story doesn’t sound right. The site by the looks of it was a private site rather than an actual Caltex operated site. So more than likely the owner saw more value in closing down and selling the land rather than continuing.

I didn’t realise the franchisee didn’t pay the lease for places, ie this Caltex, I only found out by chatting to one of the workers at GNC in Belconnen, they said the same thing, GNC did not want to renew the lease so the franchisee loses out.

With servo’s there are two ways they do it. The first is it is company owned site that they then franchise out to operators. In the past this might have been a individual but over the past 15 years or so they have gone to multi-site franchises where one operator runs more than one site. Shell at Charnwood was a ‘victim’ of this when this started to become the norm. The operators (two Italian sisters) didn’t have their lease renewed and it went to a multisite operator. This is when the workshop shut down.

The 2nd way is where the site is privately owned, like most Canberra suburban sites used to be. They then enter into a branding agreement with an oil company and are free to change when that agreement ends.

As I said looking at Lyneham it has all the hallmarks of a private site rather than a company site. The signage in particular looks private rather than company, as generally company sites have the latest signage not the basic signs as shown in the pic.

Startmeup Startmeup 12:02 am 02 May 12

Many (many) years ago I worked after school at the Shell servo in Yarralumla. We had to check tyres, oil and clean windscreens, AND run inside to get change, cigarettes etc. I remember on a few cold winter’s nights sitting in front of the little bar heater arguing with the guy I worked with as to who’s turn it was to go out in the cold. Used to pay about $3.50 to fill up the car! Yeah, flats now.

Martlark Martlark 11:22 pm 01 May 12

Morgan said :

Where was the Servo in O’Connor?

On the same road as Nun bar Nuttlex, just next to the fisho, where there is now a giant block of apartments.

Morgan Morgan 10:45 pm 01 May 12

Where was the Servo in O’Connor?

Bramina Bramina 10:09 pm 01 May 12

New Yeah said :

And yeah, I miss the local bike store too. Maybe there will be some ground floor retail space in the new complex?

With any luck there will be a bike shop in the new building if there is any room left after the obligatory café.

Rusalka Rusalka 9:45 pm 01 May 12

New Yeah said :

It seems to take a few years for decommissioned servos to get built on. Wonder how soon this will be done in Lyneham.

The one in Waramanga only took a month or two to start being built on. They are now building 17 townhouses on the site (about half the size of the one in that gorgeous photo) for $378k to $440k each http://www.allhomes.com.au/ah/act/sale-residential/93-nemarang-crescent-waramanga-canberra/1316794515511

God knows how many they will try and squeeze in on this site and for what price!

poetix poetix 9:28 pm 01 May 12

I love this man’s photos. It looks like a service (gas) station from a Stephen King novel, perhaps after a portal to 1955 has somehow opened up. And I hear it was built on the site of an Indian burial ground, too, which is confusing. If a cat smelling of gasoline comes knocking, DON’T open the door. And don’t buy one of the flats.

sepi sepi 8:58 pm 01 May 12

Such a shame. It was great to leave the kids in the car and be only metres away inside paying.

Someonesmother Someonesmother 8:05 pm 01 May 12

I remember many eons ago growing up in Lyneham when the petrol station had a tiger on their signage. I think the company was Esso and said something like ‘put a tiger in your tank’.

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 7:12 pm 01 May 12

Speaking of servos I notice the former Shell Gateway near EPIC is being rebuilt as a Caltex/Woolies.

I-filed I-filed 6:43 pm 01 May 12

Bummer – convenient petrol, same price as anywhere else, super friendly guy behind the counter.

buzz819 buzz819 6:01 pm 01 May 12

JC said :

Holden Caulfield said :

I knew it was coming (actually sent some stuff into JB a few weeks back) but went past on Saturday afternoon and noticed it was closed.

Thought I’d fill up one last time last night and when I went past saw that all the pumps had been removed and the Caltex signage taken down.

When I asked a while back I was told Caltex is not renewing the lease and I expect the suggestion that the land will be developed for units and/or shops will prove to be correct.

That story doesn’t sound right. The site by the looks of it was a private site rather than an actual Caltex operated site. So more than likely the owner saw more value in closing down and selling the land rather than continuing.

I didn’t realise the franchisee didn’t pay the lease for places, ie this Caltex, I only found out by chatting to one of the workers at GNC in Belconnen, they said the same thing, GNC did not want to renew the lease so the franchisee loses out.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 5:02 pm 01 May 12

JC said :

That story doesn’t sound right. The site by the looks of it was a private site rather than an actual Caltex operated site. So more than likely the owner saw more value in closing down and selling the land rather than continuing.

That’s what I would have thought, too, but that was the story the guy behind the counter gave me (ie. Caltex own the site, but leased it to them).

I quizzed him a bit more because it’s not all that long ago that new pumps were installed and I thought it would have been a bit rough if Caltex canned the lease on them after they had coughed up the money for the upgrades.

That was when he said that Caltex owned the site and they also paid for the new pumps.

The guy I spoke to wasn’t one of the owners, so he may have had his wires crossed?

New Yeah New Yeah 4:50 pm 01 May 12

It seems to take a few years for decommissioned servos to get built on. Wonder how soon this will be done in Lyneham.

And yeah, I miss the local bike store too. Maybe there will be some ground floor retail space in the new complex?

SnapperJack said :

we could reminisce about … showers and good times with fellow drivers in years gone by.

Sounds like a fun servo 😉

astrojax astrojax 4:37 pm 01 May 12

fabulous image, btw!!

vale, the suburban service station, where once upon a time (not that the kids of today’ll believe you) you got ‘service’!

SnapperJack SnapperJack 4:33 pm 01 May 12

They should leave the sign as a historical memento. In Yass when the legendary Gasoline Alley was demolished in 1994 when the bypass and shiny new service centre opened in they left one of the old service station signs so we could reminisce about meals, showers and good times with fellow drivers in years gone by.

Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images Geoff_from_Lushpup_Images 4:24 pm 01 May 12

@HC – Likewise known for months. Kept thinking I’d interview the owners (and the owners of the shop across the way) and do a nice blog piece about changing times and the changing face of Lyneham … bit I didn’t 😉

Never emailed JB about it though.

I took this photo late on Sunday afternoon … as you say signage was gone yesterday.

JC JC 4:19 pm 01 May 12

Holden Caulfield said :

I knew it was coming (actually sent some stuff into JB a few weeks back) but went past on Saturday afternoon and noticed it was closed.

Thought I’d fill up one last time last night and when I went past saw that all the pumps had been removed and the Caltex signage taken down.

When I asked a while back I was told Caltex is not renewing the lease and I expect the suggestion that the land will be developed for units and/or shops will prove to be correct.

That story doesn’t sound right. The site by the looks of it was a private site rather than an actual Caltex operated site. So more than likely the owner saw more value in closing down and selling the land rather than continuing.

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